DOWN SOUTH NEWS
AN OCCASIONAL NEWSLETTER OF:
NEW NEWS, SLIGHTLY OLDER NEWS, NOT SO RECENT HAPPENINGS,
ANNOUNCEMENTS OF EXCITING THINGS TO COME,
HISTORICAL EVENTS OF INTEREST, GEMS OF WISDOM,
SATIRE, AND OTHER GOOD STUFF,
PUBLISHED BY THE SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE,
UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
Volume 36, Number 2
If you have news please send to DOWN SOUTH NEWS, P.O. Box 773,
Phenix City, AL 36867.
The original 'DOWN SOUTH NEWS' was published monthly during the
1930's and 40's at Worcester, Mass. The Editorial Staff was Dr. F. P. and
Mrs. Annie Ensminger.
LADIES NIGHT, E. ALA.-W. GA.
The annual Men's Fellowship Banquet was held at Southern Union
College February 20 with attendance over 200.
After an excellent dinner an OPERATION SHARE presentation
was made by Mike Davidson of Birmingham.
The two attendance trophies were presented: LaGrange United for
the most present, and for the largest percentage (small churches) Columbus
The OUTSTANDING PEOPLE OF THE YEAR awards were:
Layman of the Year
Durwood Collings of Alexander City
Horace Gregory of Todd
Laywoman of the Year
Carol Backstrom of Bethel
Minister of the Year
Jerry Cole of Todd
Roger Jones of Columbus United
As some of the Fellowship officers thought that Warren Blankenhorn
was about to retire, he was presented with a plaque for having worked with
the Fellowship for many years.
Dr. Sills was presented with a chain saw to 'help him cut through the
conference red tape' as our new Interim Conference Minister.
The program of the evening was the inspirational singing of the three
JOYCE MYERS & ED BROWN TIE KNOT
Joyce Myers of the OCLL staff will no longer be going it alone. Joyce,
whose vivacious personality has been appreciated all over our 'down south'
area, will now be working in harness with old friend Ed. They will shortly be
going to France as Ed has accepted a country parish there. He and Freda
had served in France before coming to us during the 1960's.
Ed and Joyce entertained friends from all over the world at their
celebration the evening before their big event. And to make certain that Ed
wouldn't feel that he was 'playing second fiddle' two wedding cakes were
built to share with the well-wishers. On top of one was written "Joyce and
Ed" and on the other, "Ed and Joyce." This was done in Joyce's favorite
color, blue. The wedding on February 27th was sort of a double-header. It
took two ministers to do the splicing, Rev. Dr. Reuben Sheares, Joyce's boss
at OCLL, and a Rev. Ms. from Calif.
On February 12 the Andalusia Antioch Church hosted the South
Alabama-Northwest Florida annual Sweetheart Banquet. After bountiful
helpings of delicious food the men of Antioch in derby hats, string tires, &
affixed handle-bar mustaches harmonized the sweet melodies of the season.
Everyone participated in the popular TV game: "Win, Lose or Draw." This
was emceed by Ms. Shelli Sturgis, the pastor's wife.
Churches attending were: Andalusia First, Antioch, Baker-Good
Hope, Baker Pyron's Chapel and Headland-Blackwood.
FUN IN THE SON
is the theme of this year's spring Mini-Camp at Laguna Beach,
Florida April 22, 23, 24. The Rev. Herbert Young, our program director,
promises that this camp will be one of the best yet. The Rev. Roger Jones
will be camp director and the Rev. Dr. Horace Sills will lead our Sunday
morning worship. If you have not received a registration form, write
SPRING MINI-CAMP, P.O. Box 773, Phenix City, AL 36867. All
churches of our Southeast Conference are invited. Two nights lodging, 5
meals and wall-to-wall fun and fellowship still costs only $35.00 per person.
INTERIM CONFERENCE MINISTER
ARRIVES JANUARY 20 AND GETS
INTO THE FIELD IMMEDIATELY
The Rev. Dr. Horace Sills, wife Louise and 'son' Max Schnauzer have
become a welcome part of the life of our Southeast Conference. A priority of
Dr. Sills is to get to know each association's leaders, ministers and wives.
This is being done by cluster meetings.
February 19 was a luncheon hosted by Dr. Sills for the West Georgia-
Valley people. Dinner also on 19 February for those of the Roanoke area.
March 5th at Alexander City we met with the Western Cluster and on
Sunday the 6th with the North Alabama Association leaders. Dr. Sills
preached at Caddo that morning.
March 25th completed the cluster meetings and was held at Pyron's
Chapel for the South Alabama-Northwest Florida Association. At this
cluster the moderator, Rev. Larry Crook honored Max for his patience,
forbearance and quiet endurance of those long trips and waiting outside for
his 'mom' and 'dad' during the cluster meetings.
SAMARITAN FUND REVIVED
The East Alabama Association's long dormant Samaritan Fund has
been reactivated due to a tragic accident of one of our ministers and his
youngest daughter last fall. Coming home from church they were hit by an
auto that had run a stop sign.
Having changed jobs due to the closing of the textile mill where he
has worked for many years; was without hospital insurance.
The response of our churches and individuals has been heart-
warming. The Rev. John Schofield is treasurer of the Samaritan Fund and to
date has received over $5,000 that he has forwarded to the minister and
family. John also arranged a rent/utility payment schedule in which churches
could help for over a year. These payments have been send directly to the
family and not recorded by John.
Anyone wanting to give to this fund may contact the Rev. John
Schofield, P.O. Box 155, Valley, AL 36864 or call (205) 756-7087.
The other officers of this fund are: Ms. Betty Moon-Chair and Mr. J.
K. Murphy- Vice Chair.
NEW CHURCH BUILDERS CLUB
Everyone agrees our Southeast Conference needs more churches.
Around the turn of the century Rev. Hilliard Elder organized and built over
20 new churches. During the 1950s and into the early '60s, several new
churches were assisted by the Church Builders Club by gifts of only $5 given
by many, many persons. Today 20 years later this plan will still work. You
too can help build new churches for only $5 gifts. These are also being called
shares. Won't you send a check or money order to the Conference office
designated for the CHURCH BUILDERS CLUB?
TWO NEW FINGERS POINTING
TOWARD THE HEAVENS
On January 3rd our Bethel Church at West Point, Ga. dedicated their
new steeple that had long been the dream of the late Mrs. Frank Ayers.
With sister churches of the valley sharing the event this was truly a time of
On February 28th the Pleasant Grove Church near LaFayette, Ala.
dedicated their steeple. This added symbol of worship was given by Ms.
Kathryn Childers in memory of her late husband Otis, who had been a
deacon for many years.
HELPING ELON HOME FOR CHILDREN
WORK PROJECT EVEN IF YOU CANT GO
Leon Lee, project director of the workweek for Elon Home, asks that
every church member give $1 to assist in the purchase of building materials.
All the workers going from our area will be paying their own expenses and
be contributing toward buying these materials they will be working with.
Leon's address is: 6312 19th Ave., Valley, AL 36864.
If you would like to join in the week of work, and some of us are after
Conference and going, Leon's phone number is (205) 756-3350.
Word week begins Monday, June 13th.
A Scripture passage rarely quoted:
"Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Quit praying and get the people
Bob Nieft of Birmingham Pilgrim Church brought Mike Davidson to
East Alabama-West Georgia Ladies' Night to explain how each of our
churches could purchase more food for their money to help stock up
churches' food pantries for the needy. These are a great financial savings
and, at the same time, share these savings with our own church members.
Operation Share's slogan is "Anyone who eats qualifies." Through their
huge quantity purchasing power the National Share people can supply
monthly food orders of $35 to $45 for only $12.
Rev. Roger Jones is our Southern Area project director and has been
comparing prices, item by item, with local super markets and found the
claims of Operation Share to be true.
This is a once a month purchase. We will send a truck up to
Operation Share's warehouse in Birmingham once a month. It will bring
back the orders from our local churches to a local distribution point, i.e.,
Valley area, where local churches send their truck/cars to pick up groceries
for their church people.
There is no commitment by anyone to be in this program beyond one
month at a time. Those desiring to know more about Operation Share may
contact Rev. Roger Jones at (404) 882-0378 or write: 429 Sivill Rd.,
LaGrange, GA 30240.
Beyond the great $ savings, Operation Share requires only that each
person participating in their church's food program to give 2 hours per
month to Christian service, community service, etc., and this service to be
determined by their own church.
WORK CAMP AT
ELON HOME FOR CHILDREN
Leaving LaGrange Saturday, June 11, E. Ala.-W. Ga. Men's
Fellowship, wives and youth will motor in convoy to Elon College, N.C.
After worshipping at the Elon College Church on Sunday and catching up
on resting during the afternoon will be ready Monday to begin working at
Leon Lee, project director, already has the work schedule made out
and the week of June 13 thru 17 promises to be a meaningful experience for
all who participate. This is the second summer that the Fellowship has
worked at the Home.
MINISTERS OF SMALL
This event is to be held for ministers and wives at Camp Rockridge
just west of Franklin, Ga. and east of Roanoke, Ala. The dates are Friday &
Saturday, June 24 and 25. We will begin with supper on Friday and end by
4:00 EDT on Saturday.
Our Interim Conference Minister, Dr. Horace Sills, is to be our
leader. Dr. Sills is, and has been, on the faculty of Lancaster Seminary in
Lancaster, Pa. for many years. Not only has he been preparing seminary
students to better understand what is required of good pastors but has also
taught ministers who have not had benefit of seminary training how to
become more effective in their ministry.
More information will be mailed out about this later. Circle those
dates NOW on your calendar and keep them free.
The Rev. Roger Jones will be our convocation coordinator and should
you wish to contact him his phone is: (404) 882-0378.
Our long awaited summer camp for juniors and junior highs will
become a reality in August. Revs. Young, Jones and Blankenhorn looked at
sites available to us and the most promising is the U.S. Corps of Engineers
camp sites on the West Point Lake.
Roger Jones, through many years of experience in outdoor camping,
feels that this setting will be excellent in working with these two age groups.
This first year it is our intent to begin training future leaders so the
main emphasis will be placed on boys and girls whose pastors recommend as
being mature and would like to learn to be leaders.
The exact date of camp won't be known until the first of June as the
Corps policy is that reservations cannot be made until 60 days prior to time
of use. Further information will be sent to the churches below.
A special framed certificate for churches whose membership have
given 100% to the new CHURCH BUILDERS CLUB. This certificate to
be presented at the annual Southeast Conference in June.
How about your church? Wouldn't you like to be getting one?
DOWN SOUTH NEWS
Published by the Southeast Conference
United Church of Christ
P.O. Box 773
Phenix City, Alabama 36867
The preceding was a transcription from the original publication, except for
photographs and associated captions. Neither the original nor the
transcription are copyrighted or have rights reserved; they are in the public
domain for free use. Copies of the original may be obtained from the
Southeast Conference office.
This transcription was recorded on July 22, 2013 by Mike Stroud, director
of Project 66-16, an initiative to record, compile and write the history of the
Southeast Conference of the United Church of Christ.